2 Pistols: Loyalty

By: Todd Davis

2 Pistols, a.k.a. 2P, who hails from Tarpon Springs, Florida, is rap’s hottest newcomer. His T-Pain assisted lead banger, ‘She Got It,’ is already a chart-topper, and his soon-to-be released J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League helmed debut, Death Before Dishonor, is definitely destined to follow suit — Rap Industry Dot Com recently caught up with the Sunshine State representative.

How did you first get into rap music?

2 PISTOLS: Um…One of my older brothers or whatever, he rap, you know. I don’t know, he used to do music or whatever, and my mama was kinda talking to me about him and his music, and then, like, being, like, real, real, like, younger, we used to do this little thing at our house, you know, like this talent show thing on like Thursday nights or whatever. So, it was kinda, like, funny where we get to, I don’t know, impersonate somebody who we wanted to be or whatever, and I used to do the LL ‘I Need Love’ junk all the time, and my mama used to be trying to do Anita Baker joints. So yeah, I don’t know, just playing around with it like that, man. My brother actually pursued it a little bit more, and then after I went to the studio with him, actually I skipped school one day to go to the studio with him, in high school, like my freshman year, and I went to the studio, and, I don’t know, I just took over the situation, and pretty much (it’s been on) from there.

Aside from familial influences, what artists were you listening to back then?

2 PISTOLS: I mean, I didn’t like the earlier…I mean, I like the…Let’s see, (I) used to listen to that DJ Magic Mike junk when I was (younger), but really, like, who I pattern myself off of, who I would say, was I listen to Jay Z, of course, and when I really, really like got into my music heavy, (it) was the I’m Serious (album by) T.I.. Like, I listen to T.I., (and) I think that was the most slept on album ever, and, um…It’s a crazy record. So, I mean, he had crazy records on there, so I’d say T.I., Jay Z, I mean, the earlier Cash Money, when it was all of them together, and out West…Who I like from out West? Um…Let me see, I listen to Pac, but, I mean, there was another cat…A MC Eiht or something like that, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I used to listen to that. Like that (‘Streiht Up Menace’ from the soundtrack to) Menace II Society, and all that, yeah.

I understand that originally you were leaning towards a professional career in sports, particularly football…

2 PISTOLS: Um…Realistically, what happened was I had a daughter young, and so I just, I don’t know, it was just brought to me like, “Yo, you could go to school for four more years, or five years or what have you, and possibly do this with this football thing, but it’s so many people that play football from my city, they go away to college for, like, I don’t know, I’d say a year or two, and then they right back, they right back in the ‘hood and they hustling, and they ain’t really went nowhere, and they ain’t got nothing going on.” So, I guess I looked at it like, “Yo, I got my daughter I gotta take care of now.” So, I just did what I had to do to take care of her. And, rap was kinda like just something else that I felt that I can do that could possibly get me to making the money that I wanted to make, ‘cause football clearly, like, was out of the picture. I mean, I’m only 5’7”, although I rushed, had a lot of yards and all that, but it was mostly D2 schools that was interested.

How did you come up with the name 2 Pistols?

Um…Just me being a Gemini, my personality, instead of calling me 2 Faced or 2 Personality, I mean, just being in the streets heavy, it’s just, like, “There goes 2 Pistols, what’s up?” It really ain’t come from, “Oh, he’s strapped with two pistols all the time, and he wants to shoot somebody and all that.” It was just my personality.

Do you think the name actually brings a negative stigma to your music?

I mean, I think that if I’m given a fair opportunity for people to listen to my music, then they won’t just pre-judge me on that. I mean, I’ll be 100% honest with my whole situation or anything that I’ve been through or whatever. I don’t fabricate my situation. So, if you really want to listen to somebody that’s really gonna tell you the truth and give you their life, I mean, it’s me you should listen to. I mean, set aside the name. I mean, if you just listen to what I got going on, you won’t be like, “Oh, you know, 2 Pistol is rowdy!” I mean, I got records on there that’s for everybody, so…On my album, Death Before Dishonor, so…

Why did you decide to call your album that?

I mean, Death Before Dishonor, what it represents for me is basically…I got in a situation with somebody, and it was really on like a snitching situation, and I’m like very, very opposed to snitching. I can’t really…I’d rather die before I’m disloyal, in any aspect, whether it be snitching, whether it be doing dudes (wrong) that’s around me (and) not handling they business properly for them, or trying to take from somebody. And, like, I had said this once before, somebody else who I had did an interview with, and they was like, “Well, you know, that’s like to kill all rats. Like, cats be, yeah, using that kill all rats when they say stop snitching or this that and the other, but realistically if it wasn’t nobody snitching, then in the ‘hood, the ‘hood would be crazy. And, if it wasn’t nobody telling on nobody, actually people telling on people and criminals catching criminals, (that) is helping the crime rate go down.” And, I’m, like, “I mean, yeah, you look at from that position or that standpoint, but how I look at it is like everybody ain’t a snitch. If this person is a witness, they witnessed something, they stand across the street and they witnessed something, then they witnessed (it). (It’s) something (where) you basically just got caught. But, if we got to plot our plan together to go do something together, and you got caught and I didn’t, then that’s not cool ‘cause you just trying to rat somebody out so that you can not deal with your consequences. You know what the consequences was going in on the situation with me, so…”

Your debut single, ‘She Got It’ is blowing up for you — Were you surprised at how fast it took off?

Yeah, I was surprised at how good the record was doing, but like, I don’t know, to be honest with you, I think my record, I was surprised, but when I listened to the record and I compare it to all the other T-Pain records, (‘cause) I know everybody’s like, “It’s a T-Pain feature, of course, it’s gonna do this, of course, it’s gonna do that!” I honestly think my record is doing way better than all these other records that he’s on, because it’s really the better record that he got on. I mean, he didn’t write my record though, I mean, he probably wrote a lot of these other people’s records, he kinda co-wrote or assisted on the hook somewhat, but the hook wasn’t wrote by him. So, I mean, I really want people to understand that it’s not like I went to T-Pain and was like, “Yo, write me a chorus, and I’m just gonna write my verses and the situation works out like that.” The production decision was redone by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. I had a prior existing version out (on) the record before I got my deal with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, (and) they came in and fixed the production on it. So, all the credit go to them as far as the mob of the track. But the hook, I just want people to know I wasn’t totally…It (wasn’t) wrote by him.

How did you even come to the attention of Grammy Award winners J.U.S.T.I.C.E. {Just Undeniable Songs Tracks Instrumentals Corporate Enterprise} League?

Um…I was actually affiliated with a click of cats called Bulldog Entertainment, and it was kinda, like, (an) up and coming label, an indie label out of Tampa, and I knew Colione. I met Colione, which is one third of the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League production part, and he make beats for this artist, Chico Red, and I was just affiliated with the click, and I used to go over there all the time. I was younger then, I was like sixteen, and I knew him, I met him or whatever, so I would see him all the time, and what happened was that my record was doing great in the streets, buzzing crazy all over the Tampa (area), with the one existing version that I had prior to (signing) with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, and I ran into him at…Um…Where did I see him at? I seen him at a Tampa music conference. So, I met him at a Tampa music conference or whatever, and basically that was it. I had met him at a conference, and he was like, “Oh, Yo, we need to get together, and redo this production or whatever.” And, we got together, we redid the production, and that was pretty much it. I got with him, he redid it, and all my rest is history.

Did they handle the majority of the production on your debut?

Um…They are…They got…I’d say they got the majority of the tracks on there, yeah, but they didn’t necessarily…I didn’t have to go in and get all production done by them. It just (is that) we got crazy chemistry together. So, I mean, majority of the tracks that I have submitted was done by them. They got like eight joints on there right now, but that could change. I mean, I’m technically done recording, but, I mean, here and there I do stuff. So, something might knock it off, knock another song off the album.

Take me through a typical studio session with you and someone such as a J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League…

Working with them, we work kinda collectively. I mean, they might have an idea or direction they want to go in with something, and I’m like, “Nah, I don’t like that, and I don’t want to do this,” Or, I mean, we might just vibe on it, and I might just go with it.

Any guest appearances to look out for on Death Before Dishonor?

It looks like I’m gonna have a record done with J. Holiday, or what’s the dude? Bobby Valentino, for like the second single. It’s called ‘U Know Me,’ (and) it’s hot! Right now, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League has an R&B artist named Carlyle, he’s on there, (and) he’s actually holding it down on there. So, whether I’m taking him off and switching it out, I mean, I don’t know what direction we’re gonna go in (for) that yet, but the song’s hot regardless of who does the hook over or whatever. But, it’s hot for a second single. But, I would say I’m looking at a feature from either one of them, or possibly, I mean, I got a situation where I got the (Young) Jeezy record that might go on the album, or we don’t know what we’re gonna do with that yet. We might have (Rick) Ross jump on there, too. So, I mean, my features is the only thing that ain’t nailed in right now. But, I mean, the track listing is, like, I mean, the tracks, production-wise and my stuff, is done pretty much.

Do you have a personal favorite song on the record?

I mean, I got…I like all the records, but I like this one record that I do at a lot of my shows, when I come out, the intro, it’s called, ‘Been Throwin’ Money,’ because it’s really, like, it’s something that I’ve been doing. Like making it rain in the club, I’ve been doing that, before my deal, whenever I was doing my shows. So, it kinda, like, represents like, “Yo, I’ve been doing this, like, before my deal, so it actually makes me feel good to be able to do the record, and go out and say that.” So, I like the ‘Been Throwin’ Money’ record, yeah.

What are your future plans for sticking around in this business of music?

Just my grind, I mean, I’m really not content with just having nothing…I mean, just having what I have right now. Like I get a lot of interviews and a lot of calls now, and a lot of people look at me like, “Yo, your record’s poppin. Yo, you doing this, Yo…” I mean, I haven’t really woken up to that yet. I guess I’m just humble with my situation. I’m enjoying everything that’s coming with it, but, I mean, I don’t take my situation for granted.

I hear acting is something that you want to eventually pursue…

I mean, if I could get into movies, I would love to get into movies. I want to try to do some acting, and I got a crazy personality thing going (so) I’d probably do real good in some movies. But, I have also my whole B.M.U. Clique. I have four artists under me, and, I mean, we fittin’ to do a group project together, (and) they all individual solo artists, too, so…

There is a label situation then in the works as well?

Yeah, I’m looking at, yeah, getting a label situation worked out for my click, but, I mean, actually we got a record on the album called ‘Looking Down On ‘Em,’ and we just did a street video for it the other day, so I’m trying to get the buzz right for my click, too, so…

What does B.M.U. stand for?

It represents Blood Money Union Entertainment.

And, who are the four solo artists that you’re speaking of?

I mean, I got an artist named Deca, and I got an artist Young Skee, I got an artist Cebo, and I got another artist, J Flame.

So, these projects should start coming on the heels of this Death Before Dishonor CD?

Yeah, I’ll let (you) in on whatever I got to do on that (when it’s time). But, yeah, we’ll put a group project together, (and) we got (a) couple (of) mix-tapes coming for the streets while my project releases.

What are people most surprised to find out about you?

Um…That I’m just a regular person, (so) don’t look at me like, “Well, he’s doing this, that and the other…” Like, I don’t want to be looked upon like I’m some God or something like that. It’s just that my situation is very, very successful, (and), I mean, I just don’t want nobody to bug out and look at me like I think that I’m better than them, or I’m a God or something like that. Like I’m just like you. I’m no different from you. I had a dream and I had a goal in mind, and I just basically just accomplished my goal. You should be able to achieve your goal if you really, really get on your grind and stay focused on that.

What’s been your biggest Hip-Hop moment so far?

Um…I mean I only had that one moment one time. When I did my deal and then they wired my money in my account. (I was), like, “Yeah, this is what I’m talking about right here! No more block!”

What do you foresee for yourself five to ten years down the road?

I don’t know. Probably off of the Gulf of Mexico, fishing on a boat somewhere, chillin’ (and) living my life.

Any message you want to relay?

Nah, I mean, just hit me up on the My Space